Dr. Miltiadis Athanasiou studied Environmental Science at the University of the Aegean , Lesvos, Greece and has received a M.Sc. Degree in 2008 in Prevention and Management of Natural Disasters from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. He pursued his Ph.D. Degree in the field of forest fire (wildfire) management at the same University. The title of his Ph.D. dissertation is "Development of an optimal methodology for forecasting forest fire behavior in Greece". His work includes data collection on “live” wildfires and relevant analysis. So far, he has produced a number of publications documenting wildfires and analyzing fire behavior (fire spread, spotting) in Greece and he is the recipient of the International Association of Wildland Fire Doctoral Student Scholarship for 2014.
His firefighting training and operational experience commenced in 2000, when he started being trained by the Special Units of Disaster Response, Hellenic Fire Corps on a weekly basis until 2003. At the same time he was the Lead Supervisor and Operational Coordinator, of a Natural Disaster Response and Relief Volunteer Team. He has also served with the 6th Fire Department Station of Athens as a Volunteer Firefighter (fire engine crew member). Since 2008, he is officially recognized as Specialized Volunteer Expert by the Hellenic General Secretariat of Civil Protection.
In his professional career, he has compounded a total of twenty four years of experience in environmental management and has built significant experience in forest fire management. He has undertaken and carried out research projects, studies and operational plans for wildfires management and suppression, working as Research Affiliate with the Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems in Athens, Greece, the Ionian University, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, NGO's and private companies.
Dr. Miltiadis Athanasiou has also worked in aerial firefighting, as crew member of heavy-lift (Type I) helicopters in Greece, for five fire seasons (2011-2015) and he has been teaching: a) the "Topography & Geoinformatics in Disaster Relief and Rescue Operations" Course, in the Hellenic Fire Academy as a part time Instructor, since 2016 and b) the "Wildfires management" Courses, in two Post Graduate Programs of the Faculty of Geology and Geo-Environment, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, since 2015.